Sunday, July 22, 2012

Is the generosity of Spain's social security system preventing revolution?

The Talking Clock blog is following the anti-austerity protests in Spain live, claiming that the BBC is showing little interest (though the BBC gave this online a couple of days ago).

However, Fin24's report includes an interesting detail: the newly unemployed there are to still get 50% of basic salary (down from 70%).

This raises the question of differences between social security systems across the EU, and in fact the European Commission has been looking at exactly that in a paper issued in May 2012 (pdf).

The authors find that "Belgium, Denmark, Portugal, Spain, Finland and the Netherlands appear to be relatively generous in terms of unemployment insurance replacement rates and duration compared with the EU average, while in the UK, Malta, Slovakia, Estonia, Poland and Romania benefit conditions are relatively tight", although Spain is not named among the countries (Belgium, Malta, Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Finland and Portugal) that have the most generous social security systems overall.

So while obviously financially constrained, the protestors may have enough to keep going and make a fuss, and not so little that they are driven in desperation to serious and sustained acts of rebellion.

Is this the real point of social security: to maintain safe those in power?


The Talking Clock said...

Thanks for the link.

Another interesting thing you could look at is the ex-pat community in Spain.

You know that if a Spaniard comes to the UK, they can get the exact same benefits as we can - including housing and NHS.

Or can they..?

And what about an ex-pat? Let's say... I dunno. Let's take a barman working in the English ghetto in Benidorm. Let's say they're completely legal and above board, but they get laid off.

What benefits and entitlements would that British ex-pat get in Spain?

And why are we not all just swanning off to the French Riviera and signing on and claiming a council house in the sun?

Sackerson said...

Found a site that could help you - Expatica: